SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis scored 16 points, including two driving layups and two free throws in the final 2 minutes, and No. 2 Syracuse beat No. 22 Pittsburgh 59-54 on Saturday in a battle for first place in the ACC between the two former Big East rivals.
Syracuse (18-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) entered the game 2-0 against former Big East rivals, with victories over St. John’s and Villanova. The Orange made it three straight and remained one of only three unbeatens in Division I.
In four of the past five seasons, Syracuse has started with at least 13 consecutive wins, and twice in the last four years Pitt (16-2, 4-1) had stopped those streaks.
In a seesaw game that was tight all the way, Ennis, encouraged by coach Jim Boeheim to take more shots, won it by hitting a scoop with 1:47 left and a lefty layup with 30.6 seconds to go as the crowd of 30,046 shook the Carrier Dome with deafening roars.
Pitt had chances to tie it, but Lamar Patterson missed two 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes and Cameron Wright missed another. Patterson finished with 18 points, 14 in the second half.
Pitt shot 38.3 percent (18 of 47) and Syracuse finished at 51.2 percent (21 of 41).
C.J. Fair had 13 points, Jerami Grant added 12 and Rakeem Christmas had 10 for Syracuse, which won despite being pounded 16-4 on the offensive glass as Pitt finished with a 19-2 edge in second-chance points.
James Robinson, who leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, had six points, four assists and one turnover for Pitt and Talib Zanna finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
No. 6 Villanova 88, DePaul 62
VILLANOVA — James Bell had 17 points and eight rebounds, Ryan Arcidiacono scored 14 points, and No. 6 Villanova won its fifth straight game.
The Wildcats (16-1, 5-0 Big East) made a whopping 19 of 26 shots (73 percent) in the second half as they continue to steamroll through the revamped conference. Villanova tied a season low with five turnovers.
Daniel Ochefu had 14 points and six rebounds, and Josh Hart hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 points for the Wildcats.
La Salle 74, Temple 68
PHILADELPHIA — Tyreek Duren scored 20 points, Tyrone Garland added 17 and La Salle extended its winning streak to five.
Steve Zack chipped in with 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Explorers (11-6), who defeated Temple for the first time in their last nine tries.
Quenton DeCosey and Anthony Lee paced Temple (5-11) with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Depleted by injuries, the Owls only used seven players en route to their sixth straight loss.
Holy Cross 61, Lehigh 42
WORCESTER, Mass. — Malcom Miller scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds as Holy Cross rolled over Lehigh.
Malachi Alexander came off the bench to score 13 points for the Crusaders (9-9, 3-3, Patriot).
This was the fifth-straight loss for the Mountain Hawks, who hit just 16 of 54 from the field during the game.
Austin Price — the only Lehigh player in double digits — led the Mountain Hawks (8-11, 1-5) with 13 points.
American U. 66, Lafayette 61
WASHINGTON — Darius Gardner had 13 points, seven rebounds, and six assists Saturday to lead American to its seventh consecutive win.
John Schoof led American with 16 points, while Jesse Reed and Tony Wroblicky scored 11 apiece.
Bryce Scott scored 15 to lead Layayette (4-13, 0-6) which led by as much as six points in the second half and was up 61-59 with on Lindner’s layup with 2:00 to play.
Drexel 79, NC-Wilmington 63
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Frantz Massenat scored a career-high 30 points and Freddie Wilson scored all 16 of his points in the second half as Drexel staged a 30-point turnaround to defeat UNC Wilmington.
The Dragons (10-7, 2-2 Colonial Athletic Association) were down 14 just before halftime. They first caught the Seahawks (6-14, 0-5) with 11:47 remaining after Wilson scored six straight points.
Chris Fouch finished with 14 points for the Dragons, who hit 16 of 24 shots in the second half (66.7 percent) plus 16 of 18 free throws.
VCU 80, Duquesne 65
RICHMOND, Va. — Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson each scored 12 points, all but five coming in the second half, as Virginia Commonwealth rallied.
Rob Brandenberg scored 11, and Treveon Graham had 10 for VCU (14-4, 2-1 Atlantic 10). Juvonte Reddic scored nine and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Derrick Colter led Duquesne with 13 and Jeremiah Jones and Tra’Vaughn White scored 10 apiece.
Robert Morris 77, Mount St. Mary’s 69
EMMITSBURG, Md. — Jeremiah Worthem scored 21 points to lead Robert Morris past Mount St. Mary’s.
Worthem sunk all six of his free throws and went 7 of 11 from the field. Lucky Jones added 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Robert Morris.
Rashad Whack led Mount St. Mary’s with 22 points.
Wagner 56, St. Francis 50
LORETTO — Marcus Burton scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer that helped fuel a second half go-ahead run, to lift Wagner.
Latif Rivers contributed 12 points for the Seahawks, who now have won 11 of the past 13 matchups against St. Francis.
St. Francis (3-14, 1-3) was led by Earl Brown, who scored half of the team’s total points.